A sample having self subtraction characteristics that were very promising was tested in depth: hologram formation times were on the order of 150 sec, the null signal was less than 2.5% of the peak signal, and no fatigue nor instability was detected over the span of the experiments. Another sample, fabricated with, at most, slight modifications did not perform nearly as well. In all samples, attempts to improve self subtraction characteristics by various thermal treatments had no effects or adverse effects, with one exception in which improvement was noted after a time delay of several days. A theory developed to describe self subtraction showed the observed decrease in beam intensity with time, but the shape of the predicted decay curve was oscillatory in contrast to the exponential like decay observed. The theory was also inadequate to account for the experimental sensitivity of self subtraction to the Bragg angle of the hologram. It is concluded that self subtraction is a viable method for optical processing systems requiring background discrimination.